Tim Erixon

Goal Breakdown: Rookie Mistakes, Hartnell Love, and a Powerplay Entry

Posted by The Coach on October 29, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets / 1 Comment

Welcome to this week’s installment of Goal Breakdowns where I go over a couple of goals for and against from the last week of action for the Columfied Blue Falcons. Errrr Columbus Blue Jackets. Sorry, with all those Springfield Falcons in the lineup, I get confused sometimes. As it stands right now, the Jackets are looking to be without their starting goalie, their top scoring defenseman, and seven of their top ten forwards. The likely second line for next game is Marko Dano, Alexander Wennberg, and Jack Skille. That would probably be the Falcons top line should everyone somehow manage to get healthy. Let’s all hope guys start getting better, and that Scott HartnellRyan Johansen, and Cam Atkinson (who could very easily have stayed out of the lineup after skatefacegate) keep up their torrid starts. This week I’m going to cover a few goals very quickly, both for and against, and go a little deeper into two others. Let’s get to it.
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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ SJ

Posted by The Coach on October 24, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

Well that was a game. Maybe not the prettiest win in the world, but a win is a win, and a nice way to start off a west coast road trip. The Jackets looked like they were going to get blown out, getting dominated by the Sharks in the first period, and looking like the weaker squad through the first half of the second. Strangely, once the Jackets took the lead, they also took control of the game for a while. Another slow start at the beginning of the third period setup a pretty wild final frame. Joe Pavelski tied it up, then Cody Goloubef committed one of the worst turnovers I’ve ever seen (how do you not take a look there) to Logan Couture who buried the go ahead goal. The Sharks seemed to take control of the game for the next few minutes until the Jackets managed to get some sustained pressure, drew a penalty, and then tied it up on the powerplay. Then the final minute and a half happened. Ryan Johansen scored a hat trick, let’s get that straight. The refs straight up blew that call. Nick Foligno was pushed into the crease, barely made contact with Niemi, then was out of the way of the goaltender when the shot was taken. Had he not been pushed in, or had he been making contact with Niemi still when the shot was fired, I’d have no issue with that call. But it was Joe Thornton interfering with Niemi, not Foligno. Fortunately, Mark Letestu let the refs off the hook a minute later with the game winner.

3rd Star: Mark Letestu

Two goals, including the game winner, 54% on faceoffs, a game high +10 corsi, and some damn fine penalty killing. That’s more than enough for the third star. Let’s backtrack to his first goal though. Holy what a pass by Artem Anisimov. Just a beautiful saucer pass right where it needed to be. Letestu had a nice finish on that one as well.
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The Coach’s Offseason Thoughts (So Far)

Posted by The Coach on June 30, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Roster Talk / 1 Comment

I had the majority of a post put together for an offseason game plan post featuring all the moves I wanted to see the Jackets make. I’d figured out reasonable cap hits for the guys I wanted to be signed, figured out a nice trade or two that made sense, and wrote a nice long paragraph about how no one in their right mind would deal anything of value for RJ Umberger. Then it all got blown to hell. It came out that Jason Spezza had Columbus on his no trade list (I had him as a trade target), Nikita Nikitin was dealt to the Oilers, and Umberger was somehow traded for Scott Hartnell. In my opinion, those moves took care of a lot of what the Jackets needed to do this offseason. So instead of a post detailing everything I wanted to see, I figured I’d hit everything that has happened so far, and what I want to see happen the rest of the offseason. Continue reading…

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Why I think the CBJ should focus on Defense at the NHL Entry Draft

Posted by CBJProspects on June 13, 2014
Draft, Prospects / No Comments

How do, all! As you know, I’ve been saying that the CBJ should focus on their defensive prospect depth in this year’s draft despite the fact that, from what I’ve gathered, the best player available in the first round will more than likely be a forward. As I pointed out in my preview, the CBJ have used 16 of their last 19 picks on forwards or goalies including six of last year’s seven picks (all six being forwards) with four of those picks being among the teams top prospects. But more importantly, I say this because of the organization’s overall lack of depth at the position.

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Falcons Fall in First Round of AHL Playoffs

Posted by CBJProspects on May 05, 2014
Prospects / No Comments

The Falcons faced off against the Providence Bruins in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs. Unforunately, the Bruins earned the 3-2 series win. Let’s take a look back at the one playoff series the baby Jackets played in this season.

Starting off in game one, with the Falcons trailing 1-0 in the second Michael Chaput, Marko Dano and JF Jacques had a three on two with Dano sending a cross rink pass to Jacques (even tho it looked like he didn’t put much on it) to get a shot past Svedberg to make it 1-1. Later in the second period, Ryan Craig tipped in a Patrick McNeill shot to make it 2-1. The Bruins tied the game just before the midway point of the third and thus sent the game to overtime. Andrew Joudrey started and finished the rush when he passed the puck and then received it back to snap a shot just above the circle to win the game. Mike McKenna made 35 saves in the win.

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Falcons Season Review/Playoff Preview

Posted by CBJProspects on April 21, 2014
Prospects / No Comments

The Falcons closed the regular season with two road games – both of which they lost. Fortunately, the team already clinched the Northeast Division so I’m guessing this weekend was “don’t get hurt and let’s try and figure out the roster”.

Starting on Friday, the Falcons fell to Hartford by a score of 2-1 with ex Jacket David LeNeveu picking up the win. In the loss, Carter Camper scored the Falcons goal and Mike McKenna made 18 saves. In the season finale against Albany, it was ugly with a capital ugh as the Devils rolled out to a 4-0 lead including a goal seven seconds into the game. The scoring barrage ended Mike McKenna’s night early in the second when he turned things over to Anton Forsberg. The Falcons finally scored in the third period when Tim Erixon fired a shot from the point that bounced off the backwall right to Jake Hansen who scored. Less than three minutes later the Falcons scored again when Marko Dano skated in and fired a backhand that the Devils goalie would stop but the rebound going right to Darryl Boyce in the slot to make it 4-2. The Devils added an empty net to make it 5-2, Mike McKenna stopped nine of 13 and took the loss while Anton Forsberg stopped all 10 shots he faced.

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March 31st-April 13 AHL/European Prospect Review

Posted by CBJProspects on April 13, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / 1 Comment

Greetings all! Back again with the week in review for the Blue Jackets prospects, ok two weeks but the CBJ were so busy last week and it would have been a light update from me so my superiors said I could take some time off.

Starting off in Springfield, two weeks ago the AHL decided to make it “lets screw with the Falcons normal routine” week as the team opened with an 11AM game followed by a trip into THE FUTURE… or St John’s Newfoundland where it’s an hour and a half ahead of Eastern Standard Time. We begin in Bridgeport, CT for a game against the Sound Tigers. Anton Forsberg made his North American debut in net. In the first, the Tigers’ goalie tried to play the puck but he fired it right into Dana Tyrell who found Jake Hansen who beat Poulin back to the crease to make it 1-0. Three minutes later, Marko Dano struck for his first North American goal when he took a pass from Cody Goloubef and snapped off a shot to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead. Late in the third, the Sound Tigers spoiled Anton’s shutout bid before Cody Bass scored an empty netter. In the 3-1 win Anton Forsberg made 25 saves and was named second star with Dano being named first star.

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February 10-23 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Posted by CBJProspects on February 24, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

Greetings all – This post covers the past TWO weeks for our prospects. I’m sorry for the delay – it just means there’s a lot to cover, so let’s get rolling.

Starting off in Springfi…wait no we don’t, we’re going for a change in venue as we start in St John’s Newfoundland at Mile One Centre. We head there for the AHL All Star Game. Unlike normal years, where it’s either the standard East-West or the older Canada-PlanetUSA format, this year the All Star Game was a team of AHL All Stars versus Farjestads of the Swedish Hockey League. Jackets Dmen Frederic St. Denis and Cody Goloubef represented the Falcons in the game with St. Denis serving as an alternate captain.

Starting on Tuesday with the Skills Competition, Cody and Frederic took part in the first event – the puck control relay – with both skating second of their trios. Brett Connolly gave the AHL a slight lead that Frederic then lost with Cody also finishing behind the Swedish skater. St. Denis’ group would lose but local boy Brenden Kichton, with the help of the Farjestads player falling, led to the AHL winning Cody’s heat. Cody and Frederic got the next four events off before taking part in the “Pass and Score” teaming up with Cam Atkinson’s college linemate, and current Albany forward, Joe Whitney. The group faced off against goaltender Frederik Pettersson-Wentzel. In the event all three players have to touch the puck before shooting within 30 seconds. Cody scored on the first attempt with a snapshot from the slot and St. Denis scored on the third when Wentzel went for the double pad stack but he didn’t leave them on the ice allowing the puck to trickle past. In the final event, “the breakaway relay,” every player took part in a group of five. Cody was part of the second AHL group, shooting fourth. He fired a shot into Pekka Tuokkola’s glove. St. Denis was part of the third AHL group, shooting third on Frederik Pettersson-Wentzel. He tried some fancy stickhandling but was stopped. The score was tied after all four groups so the competition went to a sudden death shootout with IceCaps captain Jason Jaffrey clinching the victory in the third round thus giving the AHL a 17-18 victory in the Skills Competition.

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The Small Picture: Thoughts on the Current Roster

Posted by The Coach on February 17, 2014
Roster Talk / 3 Comments

The Olympic break is just that. A nice little break to take stock of the season so far. Looking back so far over the season, there are really two Blue Jackets squads. There is the injury riddled, under-performing bunch from the start of the year. Then there is the top ten team from the last couple months. Is any of this really that surprising though? We knew Nathan Horton would be out to start the year. We knew Sergei Bobrovsky would regress. We knew this was one of the youngest rosters in the league, one that had barely played together over the last couple of years. That has all the makings of a slow start.

However, the first few months of the year probably went worse than would be expected. Just check out the Jackets’ goal differential from the first few months (where they played like a borderline playoff team, with only a -2 goal differential through December 22nd), to now, where they have played like a legit playoff team (currently +9, good for 10th in the NHL). So injuries plus weak goaltending provides results worse than should be expected. That’s all the makings for a turnaround. Aka the last two months are not a fluke.

So where do we go from here? I’ve got two views of it. The first, to follow in this post, is the small picture. It’s the trade deadline and this current offseason. You can’t fully discuss one without talking about the other. Player re-signings, rentals, prospects, draft picks; they are all just so intertwined, it makes sense to discuss both. The other view is the big picture, coming later this week. It’s based around a not-so-simple question: who do the Blue Jackets want to be?

With that being said, let’s look back to the current roster. Per CapGeek , the Jackets are currently sitting on around $2.5m in cap space, although they will have about $4m by the deadline. That means they can add up to that much in salary without sending any out. Basically, unless the Jackets are targeting one of a handful of premium rentals, they don’t need to move out anyone of significance. This picture gets even rosier this offseason. The team will have about $22m in cap space for next year, with ten forwards, four defensemen, one goalie signed. That is a lot of room to work with, and considering the young age of the roster, GM Jarmo Kekelainen and President John Davidson can take this team in just about any direction they want. I’m not Jarmo or JD, but here is the direction I would like to see them take, broken down by player status.

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January 20-26 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Posted by CBJProspects on January 30, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

We’re back with another week of Prospect updates!

Starting off in Springfield, the team went 1-2-0-1 last week starting off on Monday in a MLK Day matinee with Adirondack. The Falcons opened the scoring seven minutes into the second when Jean-Francois Jacques received a pass from Spencer Machacek to make it 1-0. Four minutes later, Jacques worked a two on one with Lukas Sedlak with Lukas finishing it for his sixth of the season. Six minutes later, Cody Goloubef stole the puck and was off to the races on a breakaway converting for his sixth. A minute later Michael Chaput took a pass from Goloubef. Chaput was able to get behind the Phantoms defense to make it 4-0 Falcons. The Phantoms scored midway through the third but couldn’t beat the baby birds. Mike McKenna made 30 saves in the victory.

Next up was a trip to Hartford with the Falcons falling to the Pack for the first time in seven tries this season. Michael Chaput and Tim Erixon scored in the 5-2 loss – a game that included allowing a goal seven seconds into the game. Jeremy Smith only made it 23:34 into the game – he allowed four goals and stopped only 11 of 15. Mike McKenna stopped 21 in relief but the team would allow an empty net goal.

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